This is around 64 per cent, roughly two-third, of the total 79,950 residential rooftop solar systems availing subsidy across the country. Gujarat was followed by Maharashtra with just 5,531 installations for the same period
New Delhi: Rooftop solar leader Gujarat installed a whopping 50,915 subsidised rooftop solar plants in the residential segment as on 2 March, 2020, the highest in India, according to fresh data tabled in Parliament on Thursday by renewable energy minister R K Singh.
This is around 64 per cent, roughly two-third, of the total 79,950 residential rooftop solar systems availing subsidy across the country. Gujarat was followed by Maharashtra with just 5,531 installations for the same period.
“As per data, 79,950 residential consumers have installed rooftop solar of around 322 megawatt (MW) capacity as on 2 March 2020 availing central financial assistance (CFA) from MNRE,” Singh said in a written reply in Parliament.
He added that according to estimates, about 483 million units of electricity is generated per year from these grid-connected rooftop systems with the assumption that one megawatt of rooftop solar plant generates around 1.5 million units of electricity per year.
But, the primary reason behind Gujarat clocking such a gargantuan number of installations can be linked to its solar policy.
“This is because of Gujarat’s specific policy which has incentivised rooftop installations, and we don’t see it in many other states because of a passive resistance from a majority of state discoms towards rooftop,” said Girishkumar Kadam, sector head and vice-president at ratings agency ICRA.
Last year, the state government in its Budget had launched a new scheme for solar rooftop with a provision of about Rs 1,000 crore. Under this scheme, beneficiaries received a subsidy of 40 per cent for up to 3 kilowatts (kW) system and a subsidy of 20 per cent for a system of 3 kW to 10 kW.
The scheme is only available for residential customers. The surplus electricity generated can then be sold to related discoms at a rate of Rs 2.25 per unit.
Reason why other states are falling behind is multifold. One could be net-metering guidelines for rooftop installations, which vary across the states in terms of cap on solar installations, according to Kadam.
“There are restrictions in terms of demand that can be met through rooftops and on installation capacity in relation to the available transformer capacity in an area. On top of that, the banking norms are becoming more and more stringent across the states, the banking period is also getting curtailed across the states,” Kadam added.
Gujarat plans to cover two lakh residential consumers by 2019-20 and about eight lakh consumers by 2021-22 under its rooftop solar scheme Surya Gujarat Yojana.